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News Archive > General > £3,500 raised for Sophie

£3,500 raised for Sophie

By Natasha Swift 14th June 2017

£3,500 raised for Sophie
GREAT DONATION: Sophie and her family outside the Polgooth Inn

WHILE most people take going on a family day trip for granted, one family from Mevagissey struggled to even leave the house and get to and from school.

But in just one night the generosity of pub-goers in Polgooth completely changed the life of 11-year-old Sophie Hibbs.

Through complications at birth Sophie has lived with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus her entire life which has affected her ability to walk and talk.

Being wheelchair-bound, Sophie’s parents Vicky and Richard have constantly struggled with transport to get her to and from hospital appointments and to school in Gorran.

When Polgooth landlords Alex and Tanya Williams heard of the family’s daily challenges, they decided to do something to try and improve the situation for Vicky, who also works at the pub, and set up a special charity wine tasting night to do just that.

More than 100 people came to the night, which raised more than £3,500 to help towards buying a specially adapted Transporter van for Sophie.

Vicky picked up the keys in mid March and said the new wheels, which includes an electric tail-lift for Sophie’s wheelchair, had given Sophie a better quality of life as she was no longer housebound.

Vicky, who also has another daughter Abigail, nine, said: “The biggest thing for us was we had to lift Sophie in and out of the vehicle and her wheelchair, which was a struggle.

“My mum helps and there was no way she could lift Sophie and her wheelchair. This now means we can have more people helping us with her care.

“It means people can now take her out rather than being stuck at home and she can go to Brownies and I can take her to the Eden Project.

“It has definitely given her a better quality of life and I don’t feel so bad asking people to help. I used to feel guilty going to work and having to leave Sophie in the house. She is no longer housebound.

“Sophie absolutely loves it. She is travelling much safer as well and it is much more comfortable.

“It has made such a massive difference. I couldn’t believe how much money was raised in one night. They shut the pub so lost the revenue for that night.

“We are very humbled and appreciate the help. The van was more than £3,000 but the money raised was a great chunk of money towards it and meant we could get it sooner rather than later.”

With all of the wine for the evening donated by St Austell Brewery, alongside food to match given by Brian Etherington Meats and Westcountry Fruit, locals were treated to a selection of refreshments. The total of more than £3,500 needed to buy the van was raised through games, raffles and quizzes on the night.

Landlady Tanya said: “The generosity of our local community knows no bounds. Whatever the cause, they’re always up to the challenge. Everything was given free on the night, so a big thank you to the Brewery and all of our suppliers and we’re just delighted that together we’ve been able to help Sophie and her family.”

By Natasha Swift 14th June 2017

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